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Analysis of Frank Ogbeche's "Harvest of Corruption"


Harvest of Corruption is centred on the nefarious acts of public servants in a country called Jacassa. The principal public servant in the play is Chief Haladu Ade Amaka, the minister of external relations. He is corrupt, an unpatriotic  and a sexual pervert. He is an exploiter of the state who robs her blind in an act popularly referred to as "Pen-robbery.

Others who aid and abet him in these nefarious activities are the police commissioner who serves at the police headquarters inn Darkin; Justice Odili  a fat pot bellied man, Ochuole who organizes girls for cheif Ade-Amaka, including those who bear cocain for him; Aloho a girl who has just been offered a job in chief's office as a protocol officer; Madam Hoha whose restaurant/hotel is a haven for criminal activities under the guise of beer parlours; and Defence Counsel who fought hard to defend the corrupt chief.

PLOT

The play revolves around Aloho, who is a jobless university undergraduate, desperately in need of a job. She meets Ochuole, a notorious old school mate of hers who is the Chief Administrative Officer at the Ministry of External Relations. Ochuole offers to help her secure a job by speaking with the Honourable Minister of External Relations, Chief Ade Haladu-Amaka on her behalf. Aloho is offered a job as one of Chief Ade Haladu-Amaka’s protocol officers.

Asides being an Administrative officer, Ochuole is involved with some illegal jobs for Chief Ade at Madam Hoha’s hotel.

Chief Ade Haladu-Amaka gives Aloho a package containing hard drugs to deliver in the United States of America. Aloho unknowingly accepts the package and gets arrested at the airport by drug law enforcement officers. Chief Ade Haladu-Amaka bribes the judge and the prosecutors to set Aloho free.
Upon Aloho’s release from detention, she discovers she is pregnant for Chief Ade Haladu-Amaka. She makes futile attempts to abort the pregnancy and eventually dies while giving birth to the child.

Meanwhile, a honest police officer, ACP Yakubu initiates investigations into allegations of embezzlement of the sum of One point two billion naira embezzled by Chief Ade Haladu Amaka.

Ayo, a clerk in the office of Chief provides the necessary documents to the police to unravel the crime after receiving a bribe. Ogeyi, Aloho’s friend seeks justice by reporting Chief to the police. Justice prevails in the end as all the corrupt characters are punished and made to pay for the crimes committed.

SETTING OF THE PLAY

The play is set in Jabu, a fictional Nigerian city. The action takes place in different locations like: Ogeyi’s apartment in Pannya, Madam Hoha’s hotel at Darkin, Police Headquarters at Darkin, Ministry of External Relations in Maisama, and the Court Room.

MAJOR THEMES

Corruption: Frank Ogodo Ogbeche shows how corruption permeates government institutions and every aspect of the society as well as the devastating effect corruption has on our everyday life. All through the play, the prevalent issue is corruption. The playwright seems to pass this play as a commentary on this anomaly. Everywhere you turn, in Jacassa, you see corruption, even in places you least expect. With Chief Ade-Amaka at the forefront of this evil, stealing, fornicating and abusing public office at will, Ogodo-Ogbeche seems to wonder why corruption is always thought to be only stealing of public funds. Aloho's gullibility and desperation, Ochuole's mistress role to Chief, Madam Hoha's role, as well as Justice Odili's, the Police Commissioner's extortion of Chief and even Ayo's request for bribe, all point to the fact that corruption is not limited to those at the helm of affairs. It permeates every facet of life of the people who sow it. Just as in the play, public officers in Nigeria have almost always culturalised corruption, with a single individual, a chief of staff to be precise, stealing a mindboggling sum of $2.1b meant for arms purchase.

Unemployment: Unfortunately, many job seekers have lost their dignity because of their desperate attempt to be gainfully employed. But can we blame them? How can it be justified that after rigorous school life, one spends two to three years still job hunting? No wonder, jobless graduates are quick to succumb to societal pressure; they engage in any form of activities in the name of job insofar something comes out of it. Aloho and Ochuole are victims of this terrible situation in Jacassa. Consequently, one dies and the other is sentenced to jail.

MAJOR CHARACTERS 
Aloho

She is the main character in the play, a young and native university graduate desperately searching for a job. In her desperation, she ignorantly becomes part of a criminal network involved in drugtrafficking in spite of her friend’s constant warning to keep away from notorious Ochuole. Aloho is arrested and detained for drug trafficking. Upon her release, she suddenly realizes that she is pregnant for Chief Haladu- Amaka and eventually dies during child-birth. The author uses Aloho’s character to portray the ordeals of many young and jobless Nigerian graduates, how they are easily taken advantage of and lured into crime in their desperation to get a job.

Ochuole
Ochuole is Aloho’s classmate in the University. She is portrayed as notorious and wayward. Ochuole works as Chief Administrative Officer at the Ministry of External Relations. She aids Chief’s sexually immoral lifestyle by providing him with ladies. She lures Aloho into drug trafficking in the guise of helping her to secure a job with the Ministry of External Relations.

Chief Ade Haladu-Amaka

He is the Minister of External Relations and the epitome of corruption in the play. He is the ring leader of a criminal network of drug peddlers. He engages in bribery, large scale embezzlement of public funds,sexual immorality and fraud. His character is ironical. As a Minister of External Relations, he is supposed to promote his country’s image in the comity of nations. On the contrary, Chief Haladu- Amaka through his many vices portrayed his country in a bad light.

Ogeyi

Ogeyi is Aloho’s friend and confidant. Aloho lives with Ogeyi in her small apartment in Pannya. She tries to discourage Aloho from taking Ochuole’s job offer and warns her to keep away from Ochuole. She seeks justice for Aloho by reporting Chief to the police. She is the voice of reason in the play.

Madam Hoha

Madam Hoha is the Manager of Akpara Hotel. The hotel where Chief perpetuates his criminal activities.She is sentenced to ten years imprisonment with hard labour along with Ochuole and her hotel was sealed.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Frank Ogodo Ogbeche is from Yala in Cross River State, Nigeria. He studied Communication Arts and currently works as a Senior Council Affairs Officer in the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation. He is a member of the Association of Nigerian Authors (ANA), Nigerian Institute of Public Relations, and the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ). He has written a number of plays and poems including 'The Intruder and the Promises of the Gods'.
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